Butchers and Meat Cutters

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Also known as:
Butcher, Butcher Apprentice, Halal Butcher, Kosher Butcher, Meat Carver, Meat Clerk, Meat Counter Worker

ABOUT BUTCHERS OR MEAT CUTTER CAREERS
Video transcript

Butchers and meatcutters work in supermarkets and small retail shops. They cut large animal carcasses into serving sized cuts like roasts, chops and steaks, which are sold to customers. In addition, butchers often make special orders for customers, especially around the holidays. Butchers use tools like band saws, cleavers, knives and grinders. These tools can be dangerous, and can cause serious injuries if not used properly.

Most of the work is done whole standing, and many butchers work in refrigerated rooms all day. If you are thinking of being a butcher, a high school diploma is preferred. Training is usually done on the job, sometimes through apprenticeship programs. You must have above average physical strength to lift the heavy carcasses and good hand-eye coordination. Excellent personal hygiene is a must.

Since some butchers also wait on customers, a pleasant personality and good speaking skills are also a plus. Experience butchers may become mangers, ordering meat, taking inventory, and supervising other butchers. Butchers help "put the meat on the table" and are part of most consumers regular shopping routines.

SNAPSHOT
Cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat for use or sale in retail establishments.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Estimate requirements and order or requisition meat supplies to maintain inventories.

Shape, lace, and tie roasts, using boning knife, skewer, and twine.

Cut, trim, bone, tie, and grind meats, such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, to prepare in cooking form.

Wrap, weigh, label, and price cuts of meat.

Receive, inspect, and store meat upon delivery to ensure meat quality.

Prepare and place meat cuts and products in display counter to appear attractive and catch the shopper's eye.

Prepare special cuts of meat ordered by customers.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.